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become an Oregon resident

Oregon Residency Requirements [2022] | 🌲 How to Become an OR Resident

Moving to Oregon? Whether it’s for living, working, or attending school, establishing residency in Oregon can bring tons of benefits! By becoming a resident in Oregon, you will be able to get a driver’s license and register your vehicles in the state. You can also get access to local perks and discounts, such as Oregon-resident access to certain parks (you won’t have to pay as much to visit!) Plus, who can say no to saving money with in-state tuition at Oregon’s colleges and universities?

Moving is stressful enough, but moving to a new state has additional stresses. We want to help. That’s why we’ve made a complete guide on how to become a resident in Oregon and all of the steps the Oregon residency requirement entails.

When Can I Declare Residency in Oregon?

As soon as you get to Oregon, you can realistically start your residency process immediately. 

For tax and legal purposes, you will be considered a resident of Oregon once you spend 6 months out of a 12-month period there. Basically, you need to demonstrate that you are planning to stay in Oregon. We will go into ways to do that in the following section.

How long does it take to become a resident of Oregon? Depends on your purpose. To get a resident fishing or hunting license, tag, or permit, you’ll need to live in Oregon for at least six months immediately prior to applying.

To qualify as an Oregon resident for tuition purposes, you must live in Oregon for at least 12 consecutive months and demonstrate you are in the state for something other than education – for example, you’re volunteering or holding a job. You can take up to 8 credits per term while establishing your residency.

For students to get in-state tuition, they will additionally need to meet other requirements. A student will need to meet the criteria above. Still, they will also usually need an Oregon driver’s license and have financial independence. Each institution, however, may be different. Make sure to check out the institution’s page to see all of the qualifications necessary.

Here is a step-by-step guide for becoming an Oregon resident and why it’s important to establish residency after relocating.

Reasons to Establish Oregon Residency

There are many benefits and reasons for understanding Oregon’s residency requirements. After you become an official resident, you can:

  • Qualify for reduced fees when getting hunting and fishing licenses
  • Qualify for in-state tuition prices for universities and colleges
  • Avoid paying taxes in more than one state
  • Vote in local and national elections
  • Qualify for medical assistance benefits
  • Enroll your children in public schools

Become an Oregon Resident: Step by Step | Oregon Residency Requirements

You don’t need to fill out many forms or take many steps to meet the residency requirements in Oregon. Moving to the state and finding a place to live and work will eventually achieve residency status. But if you need to prove residency, such as for school or various licenses, here’s what you need to know.

1. Prove you plan to live in Oregon for a long period of time

The first step to becoming an Oregon resident is proving you will be staying in Oregon. You can do this by: 

  • Renting or buying a house or apartment
  • Having a business located in Oregon
  • Being employed in Oregon
  • Have children who attend an Oregon primary or secondary school

Having a lease or apartment rental agreement or owning a home is the easiest way to document your Oregon residency, but any of these things prove that you will be in Oregon for an extended time. Yes, it’s that easy.

2. Change your address

As soon as you’ve signed an apartment rental agreement or purchased a home, make sure you update your address with the post office, Social Security department, tax agencies, and any of your important businesses and contacts. Remember to update your address with your former state’s Department of Revenue! This ensures you aren’t hit with unexpected bills from your past state looking for tax money.

To update your address:

3. Get your Oregon driver’s license and register your car

Now that you live in Oregon, applying for an Oregon driver’s license is important and transferring your vehicle registrations and titles to Oregon. Once you move to Oregon, you must apply for your driver’s license and transfer your vehicle registration within 30 days. 

Per the Oregon Government website, if you answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions, you may be eligible to register your vehicle and get an Oregon driver’s license. 

  • Do I stay in Oregon continuously for at least six months each year?
  • Are my children in an Oregon public school where I don’t pay nonresident tuition?
  • Do I pay Oregon residents’ tuition at a public university or college?
  • Have I declared myself a resident of Oregon to get a state license (other than an Oregon Driver’s License) at resident rates?
  • Does my military record list Oregon as my home of record?
  • Do I pay resident income taxes to the state of Oregon?

Please note that owning property in Oregon doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a resident of Oregon. What determines Oregon residency? You must have that residency as your permanent residence and live there most of the year. Therefore, if you have a vacation home or a rental property in Oregon, that doesn’t mean you are considered a resident. 

You’ll need to visit the local DMV to apply for your driver’s license. There, you will do the following:

  • Complete an application
  • Provide proof of your identity and legal presence
  • Proof of your address (pay stubs, utility bills, bank statements, lease agreements, etc.)
  • Pass an eye exam
  • Pass the driver’s license written exam
  • Take a new picture
  • Pay the application fee

You’ll need to visit the local DMV to transfer your vehicle registration and titles. There, you will do the following:

  • Complete an application
  • Provide proof of ownership documents 
  • Pay the registration fees and taxes
  • Pass any required VIN inspections, vehicle safety inspections, and emissions tests 

Yes, you’ll most likely have to pass the written exam, but you will more than likely not have to take a road test (lucky you!) 

It’s important to note that vehicles may qualify for Oregon registration even if you are not a resident of Oregon. For example, if your business owns the vehicle and has an office in Oregon, that vehicle can be registered in Oregon. If you’re just looking for a vehicle to be registered, you do not have to have an Oregon resident. 

For more information on the DMV, please visit Oregon DMV

3. Register to vote in Oregon

Now that you’ve got all of that covered, you can get your voter registration. If you want to be a part of local elections, you’ll have to register to vote in Oregon. You can sometimes do this while you’re getting your driver’s license, but you can always get started on your voter registration application at Voter Registration in Oregon

4. File your tax returns in Oregon

Most of the time when you move to a new state, you’ll need to file a state tax return for your old state as well as your new state. Your bill will usually be split between each state by the percentage of the year you spent there. 

For information about paying your taxes and filing returns, please visit Paying Taxes in Oregon.

5. Congrats! You’re a resident!

As you can see, becoming an Oregon resident isn’t too challenging. A lot of the steps can be completed with a trip to the local DMV.

Other Ways to Establish Oregon Residency

For many purposes, becoming a resident of Oregon is more than just living in the state – it means you can show intent to make the state your home for a long period of time. When it comes to proving residency for tax purposes, qualifying for lower in-state college tuition rates, and a handful of other reasons, you may need to prove residency with additional evidence. 

Here are some additional methods for meeting the residency requirements in Oregon:

  • Become an active member of a church
  • Join a volunteer organization
  • Become a member of a local board
  • Join a gym
  • Get your hunting and/or fishing licenses
  • Register your dog or cat with your city or county 
  • Open an Oregon bank account
  • Renew your passport with your new address
  • Enroll kids in a daycare facility, private school, or public school

Becoming an Oregon Resident for a Student

Becoming an Oregon resident for a student can be very beneficial for monetary purposes. At many Oregan institutions, the cost of attending school as an in-state student is much cheaper than attending as an out-of-state student. You might have to plan a little in advance to become a resident before starting your first year, though. Please visit the website of the institution for more information about the exact qualifications for residency. 

Oregon Residency Documents – How to Prove Residency

The following is a list of documents typically accepted when you need to prove Oregon residency. Keep in mind that each institution or purpose may have different eligible documents and documentation for minors varies from documentation for adults.

Commonly accepted forms to prove your residency in Oregon include:

  • Oregon driver’s license or identification card
  • Oregon vehicle registration
  • Oregon vehicle title
  • Current insurance policy and card
  • Oregon voter registration card
  • Cable or utility bill
  • Rental lease or mortgage statement
  • Property tax statement
  • Income tax statement
  • Oregon school records
  • Military documents
  • Letter from a homeless shelter

We can’t wait for your next chapter in Oregon. You’ll be excited to call Oregon home with all of the beautiful nature, unique entertainment, and amazing food. When you’re ready to move and become an Oregon resident, call us at 503-746-8795 or experienced, efficient, and reliable movers. 

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